Phuket’s sandpit “could be better”


Phuket’s sandpit tourism program is helping the province’s economy recover, although there is room for improvement, according to Provincial Governor Narong Wunsiew.

The governor said Phuket’s tourism-dependent economy was showing signs of improvement six days after the sandbox program started on July 1.

From July 1st to 5th, a total of 1,896 international travelers arrived in Phuket, mostly by air. Six commercial flights were planned yesterday, attracting an additional 236 overseas visitors.

According to reports, 217 visitors who arrived on July 1 booked hotel rooms in the island province. For the dates from July 1st to 15th, 13,116 hotel rooms were reserved and each foreign traveler booked an average of 12 nights.

Mr. Narong said the economy was boosted by visitor spending. However, observers see that Phuket’s economic recovery depends on the authorities’ ability to contain the virus.

The Department of Disease Control announced that there were 17 new cases of Covid-19 infection in Phuket from July 1-5.

The governor said the provincial office was not happy with the number as it aims to bring the infections to zero.

“The [sandbox] The program has not yet worked perfectly, “he said, urging visitors to follow strict public health measures or they could be refused entry.

Sunthorn Sakdasavit, deputy director of Phuket International Airport, said travelers arriving at the airport would need to undergo a health screening and download the Thailand Plus and Mor Chana apps.

After entry and customs procedures, swab samples are taken from the arriving travelers for RT-PCR tests.

They are then taken to their hotels, where they wait 24 hours for the test results. If the results are negative, they can go to other parts of the island.

If the result is positive, they are immediately taken to the hospital.

Provincial police yesterday clarified details about three foreign visitors missing from hotels where they were supposed to be staying 24 hours.

An American businessman returned to the United States to attend to an urgent business matter, while a German man left his hotel to stay with his Thai wife in the provinces.

A third visitor, an 83-year-old Norwegian who was reportedly suffering from dementia, got lost. Both he and the German were taken back to their hotel.

Pol Col Thanet Sukchai, head of Phuket immigration services, said visitors were required to stay in the hotels they registered to await the results of the swab test.

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